If you’re in sales, you might think everything is negotiable. But if you want to take your B2B sales team to the next level, one thing that’s non-negotiable is investing in training.
Sales training is a proven way to upskill your team, challenge their thinking, and encourage them to get creative when it comes to closing deals.
But there are so many B2B sales training tools out there––how do you choose the ones that are a good fit for your team?
It’s not a straightforward choice. You need a program that’s tailored to B2B sales and is packed with high-quality content.
But it’s not just the content: how the training is delivered is important too. Your team is probably full of people with different learning styles: some might learn best through role-play situations, whereas others would rather just take home a sales strategy book.
You wouldn’t be the first person to look at the overwhelming number of sales training options out there and hope YouTube or an out-of-the-box solution will hold the answer.
But rest assured, we’re here to help.
Today, we’re going to break down everything you should consider when choosing a B2B sales training tool for your team.
Let’s dive in.
What’s the Difference Between B2B and B2C Sales?
As you know, there are major differences between B2B and B2C Sales. Here’s a quick reminder:
B2B sales, or business to business sales, occurs when a business sells products or services to another business. B2B sales is anchored in relationships and features longer sales cycles. Deals are often much more valuable than B2C Sales.
B2C sales, or business to consumer sales, occurs when a business sells products or services to an individual person. Purchases tend to be one-off, sales cycles are short, and deals can vary in value: from a $50 bottle of perfume to a $100,000 car.
While there are some complementary skills, on the whole, B2B sales and B2C sales are very different. If your B2B sales team has a mostly B2C background, it’s vital you invest in B2B sales training tools that help them learn the skills they need to be successful.
Even if you’ve got road-tested B2B sales reps, it’s still vital they continuously grow to remain competitive in an ever-evolving world of commerce.
Business to Business Sales Skills
There’s a wide variety of techniques that can be applied in B2B sales environments. By adopting the right tools and training, you can make sure your team is proficient in all of them.
Here is an overview of some common techniques your team should master:
- Relationship building
- Account management
- Inbound selling
- Consultative selling
- Objection handling
Effectively training all of these techniques requires a sophisticated approach toward B2B sales training. Let’s take a look at what that involves.
B2B Sales Training
B2B sales training is an important investment for any B2B business whereby you set up your team for long-term success.
Whether you choose to go with a company that uses proprietary sales training methodology or choose something more off the shelf, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether you should have your team attend the training in-person or online.
In-Person B2B Sales Training
While digital learning has exploded in popularity in recent years, there’s just no substitute for in-person connections. For many, in-person sales training is more fun, more engaging, and much more personalized.
It’s easier for instructors to get to know participants and observe body language. On the flip side, in-person training tends to be more expensive and less flexible, requiring your full team to take a couple of days out to focus solely on training.
Virtual B2B Sales Training
Practically every sales training program is now available virtually. There are several benefits to this: these programs tend to be less expensive and allow teams more flexibility, with less need to travel.
To strike the balance between in-person and virtual, many B2B organizations are starting to adopt a hybrid approach: training programs that adopt the best of in-person and virtual approaches.
B2B Sales Training Courses
As we already mentioned, there’s no shortage of B2B sales training courses to choose from. There are all kinds of frameworks, from well-established concepts like strategic selling to cutting-edge sales training companies like ASLAN Sales Training.
Explore all of your options and choose the B2B sales training course that you feel represents the best fit for your business and your team. Here are a few principles to bear in mind as you evaluate B2B sales training programs:
- Philosophy: choose a program that matches your own business’s values and approach.
- Track Record: the best sales training programs will have worked with top companies and will be able to quantify the results of their programs with case studies.
- Experience: you want your team to be trained by people with a successful background in sales. As you evaluate different sales training programs, pay attention to how they sell to you––that tells you a lot about how good the company actually is at sales.
- Flexibility: the right partner will listen to your needs and customize elements of their program to give your sales team the training it needs the most.
This is just a sample of the factors you’ll have to consider when evaluating B2B sales training courses.
For a deeper dive, get our eBook: An Insider’s Guide to Choosing the Right Sales Training Partner.
Business Sales Training Outcomes
There’s little point investing in sales training programs if you’re not going to track the effects that the programs have on your sales team. If you’ve chosen a great program, you should notice both immediate and long-term effects when it comes to the performance of your sales team.
That means you should experience an increase in productivity and the quality of conversations your sales teams have immediately following the completion of the training program. Over time, your team will master the concepts they’ve learned. With the right sustainment plan, you should see your team go from strength to strength, propelling your business to new heights.
Find B2B Sales Training Tools
Okay, now we’ve got that primer out of the way, here is an overview of some of the best B2B sales training tools across several categories:
Best B2B Sales Podcasts
Podcasts are an easy, free way to learn about any topic. When it comes to B2B sales podcasts, there’s an abundance of choices. Here are a few to check out next time you have a long drive:
- The Advanced Selling Podcast: with over 800 episodes covering both practical and technical sales concepts, this podcast has something for everyone.
- Sales Success Stories: this podcast features interviews with some of the top-performing salespeople in the world, offering your team an invaluable window into the strategies used by elite sales professionals.
- SALES with ASLAN: ASLAN co-founders Tom Stanfill and Tab Norris (hey guys!) help salespeople master their craft with this topical podcast covering all things sales.
Best B2B Sales Self-Paced Course
If you’re running a busy sales team focused on hitting quotas, it can be tough to take a few days away from the office to attend a B2B sales training program. If that sounds familiar, a self-paced course might be the best fit for your team, allowing everyone to learn on their own schedule. Here are some of the best B2B sales self-paced courses:
- Inbound Sales by Hubspot Academy: this introductory-level course explores how salespeople can sell with integrity using inbound sales techniques.
- B2B Phone Skills Improvement Program: an eight-week online course, this program will teach your sales team to more effectively engage prospects over the phone.
- B2B Sales Objections Simplified: with over 1,000 five-star reviews, this Udemy course explores how your sales team can handle common sales objections.
Best B2B Sales Instructor-Led Course
If you have the time and budget, an immersive, instructor-led B2B sales training course is undoubtedly the best way to level up your sales team. The best sales training programs have several elements in common. Here are some of the highest-rated instructor-led sales training courses:
- Challenger Selling: this proprietary approach teaches salespeople to take control of sales conversations through the “3 T’s” – teach, tailor, and take control.
- Sandler Selling System: this system advocates for a high-energy approach to sales focused on negotiating with buyers.
- Other-CenteredⓇ Selling: ASLAN’s approach to sales training is tailored to different B2B sales roles, including inside sales, field sales, and call center sales. These holistic programs focus on building receptivity with prospects to foster stronger relationships.
Find Success in B2B Sales
Selecting the right B2B sales training program for your organization is far from an easy decision, but if you get it right, it’s one that will pay dividends.
Make sure you pick a program that’s a good fit for the needs and values of your business. Great sales training isn’t about tricks and shortcuts: it’s about reshaping the way your team approaches every new opportunity.
If you’re ready to revitalize your sales team, check out ASLAN’s time-tested, research-backed sales training programs. With a fully customizable approach, ASLAN will help you create a B2B sales training program that’s a perfect fit for your business.